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Encyclopedia > Magnavox Odyssey²
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Philips Videopac G7000 shown playing "Pickaxe Pete"

The Magnavox Odyssey², known in Europe as the Philips Videopac G7000, in Brazil as the Philips Odyssey, and also by many other names, was a video game console released in 1978. Download high resolution version (800x695, 52 KB)Philips Videopac G7000 playing Pickaxe Pete This is a picture I took of my Philips Videopac G7000 (the european name for the Odyssey2). ... Download high resolution version (800x695, 52 KB)Philips Videopac G7000 playing Pickaxe Pete This is a picture I took of my Philips Videopac G7000 (the european name for the Odyssey2). ... Cover of manual This is cartridge number 43 in the official Magnavox/Philips line of games for the Philips Videopac. ... World map showing location of Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. ... This article is about brands in marketing. ... The Nintendo GameCube is an example of a video game console. ... 1978 was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ...


Back in the early 1970s, Magnavox was an innovator in the home video game industry. They succeeded in bringing the first home video game system to market, the Odyssey, which was quickly followed by a number of later models, each with a few technological improvements. In 1978 Magnavox, now a subsidiary of North American Philips, released the Odyssey², their new second-generation video game console. Events and trends Although in the United States and in many other Western societies the 1970s are often seen as a period of transition between the turbulent 1960s and the more conservative 1980s and 1990s, many of the trends that are associated widely with the Sixties, from the Sexual Revolution... Magnavox (Latin for loud voice) is a consumer electronics company that is now part of Philips Consumer Electronics. ... The computer and video game industry is the economic sector involved with the development, marketing and sale of video and computer games. ... The Magnavox Odyssey was the first home video game console, predating the Atari Pong home consoles by three years. ... 1978 was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ... Company logo Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics), usually known as Philips, is one of the largest consumer electronics producers in the world. ...

Contents

Features

The original Odyssey had a number of removable circuit cards that switched between the in-built games, of which there were 10 in Europe and Asia, or 12 in America. The Odyssey² followed in the steps of the Fairchild Channel F and Atari 2600 by being designed to play programmable ROM game cartridges. With this improvement, each game could be a completely unique experience, with its own background graphics, foreground graphics, gameplay, scoring, and music. The potential was enormous, as an unlimited number of games could be individually purchased; a game player could purchase a library of videogames tailored to his or her own interest. Unlike any other system at that time, the Odyssey² included a full alphanumeric membrane keyboard, which was to be used for educational games, selecting options, or programming. (Philips actually released a game cartridge with the intent of teaching simple computer programming.) The Magnavox Odyssey was the first home video game console, predating the Atari Pong home consoles by three years. ... Close-up photo of one side of a motherboard PCB, showing conductive traces, vias and solder points for through-hole components on the opposite side. ... The Fairchild Channel F was the worlds first cartridge-based video game console. ... Atari 2600 (four-switch version). ... Rom is also the name of a toy and comic book character Rom (Spaceknight). ... In a variety of electronic equipments, a cartridge (in video game terms, cart, game pack, or Game Pak) can be one method of programming different functionality, providing variable content, or a method by which consumables may be replenished. ... Outrun (1986) is an arcade game with a famous soundtrack. ... Generally speaking, the term alphanumeric refers to anything that consists of only letters and numbers. ... A membrane keyboard is a computer keyboard whose keys are not separate, moving parts, as with the majority of other keyboards, but rather have only outlines and symbols printed on a flat, flexible surface. ... An educational game is a game designed to teach people, typically children, about a certain subject or help them learn a skill as they play. ... Computer programming (often simply programming) is the craft of implementing one or more interrelated abstract algorithms using a particular programming language to produce a concrete computer program. ...


The Odyssey² was the first home video game console to introduce what was to become the standard joystick design of the 1970s and 80s: a moderately sized black joystick unit, held in the left hand, with an eight-direction stick that was manipulated with the right hand. In the upper corner of the joystick was a single 'Action' button. Joystick elements: 1. ... Events and trends The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 1960s and 1970s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. ...


One of the strongest points of the system was its excellent speech synthesis unit, which was released as an add-on for speech, music, and sound-effects enhancement. The area that the Odyssey² may well be best remembered for was its pioneering fusion of board and video games: The Master Strategy Series. The first game released was the instant classic Quest for the Rings!, with gameplay somewhat similar to Dungeons & Dragons, and a storyline reminiscent of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. ... A board game is any game played with a premarked surface, with counters or pieces that are moved across the board. ... The original Dungeons & Dragons set Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as D&D or DnD) is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) published by Gary Gygax and David Arneson in January 1974. ... J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from the middle years of WW1. ... Dust jacket of the 1968 UK edition The one ring of power The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy story by J. R. R. Tolkien, a sequel to his earlier work, The Hobbit. ...


Market life

United States

The Odyssey² sold moderately well in the US. Even without third-party developers, eventually (by 1983) over a million Odyssey² units were sold in the US alone. For quite some time, Odyssey² fans griped that there was no third-party support, thus keeping the number of new games very limited. Unbeknownst to American gamers, the success of the Philips Videopac G7000 overseas led to two other companies producing games for it: Parker Brothers released Popeye, Frogger, Q*Bert and Super Cobra, while Imagic released outstanding versions of their hit games Demon Attack and Atlantis. Finally, in 1983 the two Imagic games were brought to the states; these became strong sellers. A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video or computer games. ... 1983 is an integer and composite number that represents a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Parker Brothers logo is recognized throughout the world. ... Popeye from an opening still from one of his cartoon shorts, with his characteristic corncob pipe and single good eye. ... Frogger is a 1981 arcade game produced by Sega, developed by Konami. ... This article is about the arcade game, for the DJ, see Q-bert (DJ) Q*bert is a 1982 arcade game from Gottlieb. ... Third-party maker of Atari 2600 cartridges, titles including Cosmic Ark and Atlantis. ...


Overseas

In Europe and Brazil, the Odyssey² did very well on the market. In Europe, the console was most widely known as the Philips Videopac G7000, or just the Videopac, although branded variants were released in some areas of Europe under the names Radiola Jet 25, Schneider 7000, and Siera G7000. Philips, as Magnavox's European parent company, used their own name rather than Magnavox's for European marketing. A rare model, the Philips Videopac G7200, was only released in Europe; it had a built-in black-and-white monitor. Videopac game cartridges are mostly compatible with American Odyssey² units, although some games have color differences and a few are completely incompatible. A number of additional games were released in Europe that never came out in the US. World map showing location of Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. ... Nineteen inch (48 cm) CRT computer monitor A computer display, monitor or screen is a computer peripheral device capable of showing still or moving images generated by a computer and processed by a graphics card. ...


In Brazil, the console was released as the Philips Odyssey; the Magnavox Odyssey was never released in Brazil, so there was no need to specify a number. Odyssey became much more popular in Brazil than it ever was in the US; tournaments were even held for popular games like K.C.'s Krazy Chase! (Come-Come in Brazil). The Magnavox Odyssey was the first home video game console, predating the Atari Pong home consoles by three years. ...


The Odyssey² was released in Japan in December 1982 by Kōton Trading Toitarii Enterprise (コートン・トレーディング・トイタリー・エンタープライズ, a division of DINGU company) under the name オデッセイ2 (odessei2). "Japanese" versions of the Odyssey² and its games consisted of the American boxes with katakana stickers on them and cheaply printed black-and-white Japanese manuals. The initial price for the console was ¥49,800. It was apparently not very successful; Japanese Odyssey² items are now very difficult to find. 1982 is a number and represents a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar Events January January 6 - William Bonin is convicted of being the freeway killer. January 8 - AT&T agrees to divest itself of twenty-two subdivisions January 11 - Mark Thatcher, son of the British Prime... Katakana (片仮名, literally: fragmentary kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are hiragana, kanji and rōmaji). ... A 1,000 yen note, featuring the portrait of Natsume Soseki. ...


Technical Specifications

CPU-internal RAM: 64 bytes (1/16 KB)
Audio/video RAM: 128 bytes (1/8 KB)
BIOS ROM: 1024 bytes (1 KB)
  • Input
  • Output
  • Media: 2/4/8 kilobyte ROM cartridge; cartridge slot also used for expansion modules such as:
    • The Voice - Speech synthesis
    • Chess Module - Increased the Odyssey²'s computing power such that it could play chess

The central processing unit (CPU) is the part of a computer that interprets and carries out the instructions contained in the software. ... The Intel 8048 microcontroller, Intels first µC, was used in the Magnavox Odyssey² video game console and (in its 8042 variant) in the original IBM PC keyboard. ... A microcontroller is a computer-on-a-chip optimised to control devices. ... A megahertz (MHz) is one million (106) hertz, a measure of frequency. ... Different types of RAM. From top to bottom: DIP, SIPP, SIMM 30 pin, SIMM 72 pin, DIMM, RIMM RAM redirects here. ... This article refers to the unit of binary information. ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one thousand bytes. ... In computing, the Basic Input-Output System or BIOS is primitive software code embedded within a computer hardware system whose main functions are: to provide a visual display of the system to a monitor on startup of the system, have basic key access to a keyboard and provide low-level... Rom is also the name of a toy and comic book character Rom (Spaceknight). ... Joystick elements: 1. ... The QWERTY Layout QWERTY (pronounced kwerty) is the modern-day layout of letters on most English language computer and typewriter keyboards. ... A membrane keyboard is a computer keyboard whose keys are not separate, moving parts, as with the majority of other keyboards, but rather have only outlines and symbols printed on a flat, flexible surface. ... An RF modulator (for radio frequency modulator) is a small device that takes an input signal and outputs radio frequency-modulated signals. ... From left, a white king, black rook and queen, white pawn, black knight, and white bishop in Staunton chess pieces. ...

Emulation

An open source console emulator for the Odyssey² called O2EM is available. O2EM was originally written by Daniel Boris in 1997. Later versions were developed by André de la Rocha and include Philips Videopac G7400 emulation among other enhancements. The emulator works on Linux, Microsoft Windows, DOS and other platforms. The emulator does not have a friendly GUI, so it is recommended to use a frontend. The official one is called O2EMLauncher and was developed by Heitor Barcellos and André de la Rocha. Open source refers to projects that are open to the public and which draw on other projects that are freely available to the general public. ... A console emulator is a program for a computer, or other computing device, that can emulate a video game console or handheld, so a computer can be used to play games that were created for that console or to develop games for that console. ... 1997 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Tux, a penguin, is the official Linux mascot. ... Microsoft Windows is a range of closed source proprietary commercial operating environments for personal computers and servers. ... The acronym DOS stands for disk operating system, an operating system component for computers that provides the abstraction of a file system resident on hard disk or floppy disk secondary storage. ...


The open source multi-platform multi-system emulator MESS has rudimentary Odyssey² support, although many games have problems and 4KB Challenger Series games are completely unsupported. A mess is the place where military personnel socialise, eat and (in some cases) live. ...


See also

Magnavox games Race - Spin-out - Cryptogram Pairs - Space Rendezvous - Logic American Football Air-Sea War - Battle Blackjack Tenpin Bowling - Basketball Mathematician - Echo Baseball Computer Programmer Golf Cosmic Conflict Take the Money and Run Playschool Maths Gunfighter Samurai Depth Charge - Marksman Chinese Logic Laser War Catch the Ball - Noughts and Crosses... The Magnavox Odyssey was the first home video game console, predating the Atari Pong home consoles by three years. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ...

External links

  • Dan B's Odyssey 2 Tech Page (http://www.atarihq.com/danb/o2.shtml) - technical documents on the Odyssey²'s hardware by the author of O2EM
  • The Odyssey2 Homepage! (http://www.classicgaming.com/o2home/) - the largest Odyssey² fan site, with lots of information on collectibility and individual games
  • O2EM Odyssey2 & Videopac+ Emulator (http://o2em.sourceforge.net/)
  • Pictures of the Japanese Odyssey² (http://www8.plala.or.jp/tvgamekan/new_page_178.htm)
  • Information on the Odyssey² in Brazil (http://www.classicgaming.com/o2home/brazil/)

 
 

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